Ann Romney

I never intended for this blog to be overtly political, but I do need to declare some affiliations in the spirit of disclosure. As an expat, I vote in America — and when I do, I vote Democrat. But this post, like all my posts, are about women’s issues. And what woman’s issues have been in the spotlight this week? Ann Romney’s.

Lest you think I am going to break down the content of her speech, I’m not. Other writers and bloggers have done a much better job of that. I am going to talk about reactions to Mrs. Romney on my Facebook feed — mostly from my other Democratic friends. You may speculate that she was being attacked. In fact, she only received compliments.

If you have eyes, you probably agree. Ann Romney is pretty. She looks good for her age. She is composed.

Good for her.

Every girl wants to grow up to be pretty. Much as it pains me to admit, I would be a much smarter person if I devoted the time and energy that I spend depilating, deep conditioning, body scrubbing, eating right, working out and reading women’s magazines to higher intellectual pursuits. And let’s not even get started on the inflated percentage of my hard-earned wages that goes toward clothing, high heels and lingerie instead of shrewd financial investments. I know this is flawed, but I no longer rail against the Beauty Myth, seeing it instead as a feminine perk. The manipulation of our appearance allows us to express facets of ourselves that men simply cannot. So I embrace it. Obviously. This blog would not exist if I did not.

Here’s what I will rail against. The sentiment that Mitt Romney’s pretty wife somehow raises his street cred. Also, if I’m honest, I don’t love the fact that she, or any political wife, gets that much time on a national stage to endorse her husband in the first place.

I mean, I think we all know who she is going to vote for, don’t we?

But I’ll tell you what really pisses me off: the fact that most of this noise was coming from Democrats. If I said this blog isn’t political, then what am I on about?

Democrats are supposed to be a party for women. Then there’s that stat about ‘blue states’ having the best universities and higher IQs on average. Okay, people. Remember some remedial lessons. Beauty is only skin deep. And it’s HER skin we’re talking about. Not his. Did we lose sight of something here?

I get especially ranty when I realise that most Republicans would rather throw up in their mouths than concede that Michelle Obama has incredible shoulders, that Teresa Heinz Kerry was sexy and worldly, or that Hillary Clinton, when not ragged from being a supremely effective and hard-working Secretary of State, is rather attractive in real life (the camera does her few favours).

In addition, as we look at HIS marionette-like visage, we remember that the Romneys are rich. We also know that other than the saddest cases (The Spellings), money can buy good looks. And to quote one of my most intelligent Facebook friends, it’s perfectly plausible to presume that there’s a Dorian Gray-like painting hanging behind locked doors back at Mitt’s mansion.

Yes, Ann Romney is pretty. But let’s not dumb ourselves down saying so. Ann Romney is not running for office. You may be curious to see how she looks on Inauguration Day, but you’ve got him for the following four years at least. Look below the surface at what that really means. Especially for women.

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  1. #1 by Mary Hunt on September 2, 2012 - 4:37 pm

    Love this one Amanda. Still in love with your writing voice!!!! Happy Sunday :/)

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. #2 by Babraham Lincoln on September 5, 2012 - 4:09 am

    One thing has always struck me as particularly unfair (over and above the inheret inequality) about the fact that female politicians face scrutiny of their looks, grooming and fashion choices while male politicians can pretty much look like a potato in an old rugby sock and nobody cares: it allows the blokes to outsource glamour. As long as their wives scrub up well, they don’t have to. Whereas the reverse is not true (though honourable mention to Tim Mathiesion, Julia Gillard’s First Man).

    It’s like one side is allowed specialists while the other has to field all rounders.

  3. #3 by Babraham Lincoln on September 5, 2012 - 4:46 am

    Actually, perhaps Barack should consider outsourcing the speechmaking bit as well. That woman is awesome.

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